Achieving a Constant, Stable Environment for your Piano

Keep an Eye on the Humidistat!

A new or newly restored Steinway grand is a major investment in your future. A particularly effective way to help maintain the quality of your investment is to carefully regulate the humidity fluctuations in the room where your piano is to reside.

Although it might seem strange, it's a fact that the porous parts of your piano -- the case, the soundboard, the hammers, the felt -- hold moisture. This is normal. What needs to be controlled is the fluctuations between the moisture content in your piano and the moisture content of the air surrounding your piano. This is particularly important because as the percentage of relative humidity in your piano room changes, your piano reacts. If the humidity rises, the air surrounding your piano will pull moisture from your piano. If the humidity falls, the piano will absorb moisture from the surrounding air.

Imagine the difference between a very cold, dry winter and a hot, muggy summer. Or imagine the big temperature changes that take place if you turn off your heat in the middle of winter to off set the cost of your trip to the Bahamas. These are the changes you want to mitigate. If you have a very consistent climate, the moisture won't be such a big problem.

Besides the problem of moisture fluctuation, drastic temperature changes can also cause the cast-iron plate to expand and contract. A constant and controlled atmosphere is best. You want to avoid extremes.